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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 435:209-224 (2011)  -  DOI:

Otolith geochemistry indicates life-long spatial population structuring in a deep-sea fish, Coryphaenoides rupestris

C. Longmore1, C. N. Trueman2, F. Neat3, E. J. O’Gorman1, J. A. Milton2, S. Mariani1,4,*

1MarBEE, UCD School of Biology & Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
2School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
3Marine Scotland—Science, The Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen AB11 9DB, UK
4Present address: School of Environment & Life Sciences, The University of Salford, M5 4WT, UK

ABSTRACT: Little is understood about connectivity of deep-sea fish populations. Analysis of the geochemical properties of fish otoliths is one way to draw inferences regarding their movements and habitat use in the marine environment. Trace element and stable isotope analyses of otoliths were undertaken to assess patterns of spatial and temporal population structure of a wide-ranging deepwater fish, the roundnose grenadier Coryphaenoides rupestris. Fish were sampled from 4 locations across the distribution range of the species in the northeast Atlantic. Multivariate analyses of elemental ratios (Li/Ca, Mn/Ca, Ba/Ca, Zn/Ca, Cu/Ca) revealed strong geographic separation at each life stage, and an overall significant difference between life stages. Otolith oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) stable isotope analysis indicated a depth migration (and reduction in metabolic activity) from relatively shallow in the juvenile phase to much deeper in the adult phase at all locations. The results suggest that roundnose grenadier are comprised of geographically distinct population units that persist throughout their life-history, migrating deeper as they get older.

KEY WORDS: Roundnose grenadier · North Atlantic · Otolith microchemistry · Stable isotopes · Population connectivity · Laser ablation ICP-MS

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Cite this article as: Longmore C, Trueman CN, Neat F, O’Gorman EJ, Milton JA, Mariani S (2011) Otolith geochemistry indicates life-long spatial population structuring in a deep-sea fish, Coryphaenoides rupestris. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 435:209-224.

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